Viet Nam has set a goal of earning between US$19.5 billion and $20 billion from footwear, bags and suitcases in 2018, up 10 per cent and 12 per cent from 2017.
These targets may be not out of reach thanks to an encouraging export performance last year and a positive market forecast for 2018, said Nguyen Duc Thuan, chairman of the Viet Nam Leather, Footwear and Handbag Association (Lefaso) at a conference in the capital city last week.
Meanwhile, the association’s vice president, Phan Thi Thanh Xuan, said positive signs in the world’s economy and increasing consumption demand would create favourable conditions for domestic firms in exports and investment.
According to Lefaso, the industry is expected to grow 5 per cent from last year, with the localisation rate reaching 55 per cent. Footwear will remain Viet Nam’s top four exports and handbags will remain among the top 10 exports.
To help Vietnamese exporters realise the targets, the association will participate in relevant policy making while luring foreign and domestic investment in support industries, thus increasing the localisation rate and ensuring sustainable development.
It will also host trade promotion events, workshops, and training classes to improve the management capability of enterprises.
In 2017, the sector managed to earn $18 billion from exports, up 10.7 per cent year-on-year amid the US withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific- Partnership, Lefaso’s statistics revealed.
Of the total export value, footwear accounted for $14.67 billion, up 12.8 per cent year-on-year, while bags and suitcases made up $3.26 billion, up 2 per cent year-on-year.
The United States, the European Union, China, Germany and Japan were the largest export markets for Vietnamese footwear, bags and suitcases in the reviewed period.
Last year also saw an increase in the number of enterprises involved in making value-added products. That made a real contribution to accelerating the sector’s export earnings, said Thuan.